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Another smooth oriental creation in the same olfactory neighborhood as TROUBLE, albeit quite a bit simpler, Rochas ABSOLU is so benzoin and tolu balsam and labdanum-rich that the flowers (lily and neroli?)--and whatever else is supposed to be here--lie below my threshold detection capacity. What is most salient to me about this creation is its creator, Jacques Cavallier, who seems to use some mystery component which marks many perfumes as his own. I've smelled it in not only TROUBLE and ABSOLU, but also Calvin TRUTH (the original--I am not familiar with the reformulation...), and the perfumes which he designed both for Yves Rocher and for Salvatore Ferragamo.
Of all of the many perfumes by Jacques Cavallier with which I am familiar, ABSOLU strikes me as the most streamlined and the most obviously Cavallieresque, devoid as it is of loud distractions--whether of the spicy or the floral variety. In fact, this one might have been named L'ESSENCE DE JACQUES CAVALLIER. To my nose this composition really is minimalist--I would not have thought to compare it to Moschino COUTURE, for example, since the spices are so much more dominant in that composition than in this one, which to my nose is essentially an oriental perfume base. Very understated and totally unisex, ABSOLU would be perfect for those who find hard-hitting orientals to be a bit overwhelming.
I myself like but do not love and could certainly forego ABSOLU without undue strife, but I really do love the sleek vessel in which it is housed!
17th September, 2011 (Last Edited: 18th September, 2011)